tv American Artifacts CSPAN August 27, 2015 8:03am-8:58am EDT
american history tv continues in prime time thursday with a look at world war i. first the discussion on german-occupied belgium and the humanitarian aid it received as part of an international effort led by herbert hoover. also look at woodrow wilson's second term as president from the time the u.s. first entered the war in 1917. florence harding once said she had only one hobby and that was warren harding. she was a significant force in her husband's presidency on
adept at handling her medium, despite her husband's infidelities, his death in office as well as her own poor health, she would help define the role of the modern first lady. florence harding on c-span's original series "first ladies: influence and image." examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha away twoo michelle obama. sundays at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history t on c-span 3. each week, mesh history tv's american heart facts takes you to museums and historic places. up next, we travel to philadelphia to learn about the museum of the american revolution. located two blocks from independence hall, the museum is scheduled to open in early 2017. >> the idea for the museum goes back a century when december den sents of george washington's
family put up for sale the tent that housed him in every campaign of the revolution. it was acquired by the minister from the valley forge era and that launched a century of collecting and launched the idea of a museum to tell the entire story of the revolution. the collections of the museum are incomparable. they have no peer. we have objects related to washington which truly are unique. one of a kind. and they bring to life his leadership, his incredible role in keeping the continental army together and never waivvering fm his goal of success. at the same time, we have objects that represent the common foot soldier, the cavalry man we have objects that reflect the role of not just american soldiers but british and french and native americans. so our collection will enable to us to present the entire story
of the american revolution all to come to philadelphia. scott stevenson is the director of collections and interpretation for the museum and he's the ideal person to oversee the creation of these exhibits. he is ph.d. historian in the american revolution. at the same time, he has been a screenwriter for historical productions and he's created exhibits. he's deeply experienced not just in history and meaning of the revolution but the material cull clur. the objects, the artifacts, the equipment that were used right about the revolution. so i pulled together a selection of objects from the collection. i'll give you some of the highlights and sort of an indication of the big storyline that we're tell iing. the first gallery you'll come up n to will take visitors back to the end of the french and indian
war. so about 1763. there's a new british monarch, the first british-born monarch in the 18th century, george iii. he's young, very vibrant. he considers himself to be a real patriot king. americans of the future revolutionary generation are extremely patriotic. they have just participated in one of the most dramatic victories in modern history and are now part of really the richest most extensive empire since the classical age. and the first object i want to show you is an engraved soldier powder. this is a cow horn that was carved in 1763 to reflect that great victory. so you can see a crown and "gr" or the latin georges rex, king
george iii. so this is that new british monarch. it's actually engraved with a scene of the city of havana in cuba which is some of the fortifications around havana. british ships in the harbor. thebritish and american forces had taken cuba from the span fish 1762. and this horn was carved to commemorate the embarkation of those troops. the scene was illuminated at the embarkation of the british troops, july 17, 1763. and so this is really marking a moment in which britains and americans, colonial british americans were reveling in being part of this magnificent empire. they expected to reap the fronts that have victory. they had defeated the spanish, they had defeated the french and their allies. so britain was left with a
vastly expanded empire. not just in north america, but in india, in africa, one of the last actions of the war actually took place when the british took manila in the philippines. so it was really the first global war, sometimes known as the seven year's war or the french and indian war here in north america. and so this horn is a great sort of embodiment of the optimism that clonian americans had at that point in their history. but, of course, shortly after the riotous celebrations settle down, someone has to pay the bill and this is when reality sets in. so the story we'll tell, then, begins just after this great victorious moment when british policymakers have got to face up to the cost of victory. the price of victory. now that you have something like
80,000 catholic french inhabitants, former french colonists in north america, tens of thousands of native americans who formerly had been part of the french empire in north america, they're all now subjects of king george iii. so armies have to be stationed in america, fleets have got to be stationed not just in america but in south america and really policing this new british empire. and so this is the roots of the odious stand act which many people, of course, view as the beginning of the revolutionary story. of course, it takes another 10 years for there actually to be shooting that starts here in north america. but that's really the roots of the revolutionary story. britain has to raise revenue, try to cover these costs. it's a common fallacy that the stamp act was to pay for the cost of that war. that price has actually been borne by british taxpayers who had been squeezed just like we
often say today, can't afford any more taxes. they were looking at the americans and saying, "you know, they're fairly lightly taxed people, make they can bear the cost of their defense." so a lot of the next decade, we have an image of what the gallery where we're going to tell this story will be located under the limbs of boston's liberty tree, a recreation of boston's liberty tree where we'll talk about that decade from 1765 to 1775 when americans begin to articulate their views of their -- first their english liberties that are being infringed by these acts and taxes on the part of the british. and one of the objects we'll show in here is this -- this is a chinese porcelain punch bowl. so this was used to serve alcoholic punches in taverns and homes in britain and america.
so this was actually produced in china but for the export trade to britain and particularly america. it has here the arms of liberty and the figure of john wilkes who was a british opposition politician against the -- sort of rallies support in britain against the administration of lord butte and he became a very popular figure for the american sons of liberty and they would often use wilkes' image in their propaganda when they were protesting for american liberty all through the 1760s and 1770s. that's a wonderful evocative pie piece. as american colonists begin shouting very loudly and increasingly loud about their rights as englishmen and their
feeling that there is a conspiracy to enslave them under way in the british parliament, the whole issue of slavery, of chattel slavery increasingly the contradiction of these calls for liberty with the presence of slavery particularly in america, of course it existed in britain at the time, but it was particularly widespread in america becomes louder and louder and so this next item is a really incredibly rare and important work. this is a volume of poems, published in london in 1773 by a young woman named phyllis wheatley who's the first published african-american poet in american history. phillis wheatley had been enslaved on the west coast of africa, probably in gambia or again gal asenegal brought in t 1950s.
she was sold to a family by the name of wheatley in massachusetts and the daughter in the family taught her to read and write. and she had a real natural talent for writing verse are. and, of course, at the time this was an extraordinary development. so much so that there were those as she began publishing pieces in the newspaper and they began to be circulated there was actually a trial held in boston where people like john hancock and other significant figures in the community were brought together to basically put her on trial, ask her questions to try to determine if it was possible that this african-american woman could have written poetry like this. of course, she passed and they actually wrote a testimonial saying that they believed that she, in fact, had been the talented writer who produced this poetry. and so in 1773, she traveled to london and this volume was
published. it's also remarkable in that we have an engraved image, presumably a good physical likeness, of phillis wheatley. this volume, i'll turn the page to show you, is also -- it would be wonderful even by itself, but it is one of the few examples that have actually come down to us with phillis wheatley's signature on the volume. and it just doesn't get better than that. trying to find the sort of tangible objects that allow us to discuss the very important contributions of african-americans to the founding period of our nation. it can be a real struggle as a curator to try to find this material. so we are incredibly blessed to have that volume available to us and to share with our visitors once we're open. and that will be in in that same
gallery located next the liberty tree so visitors can reflect on the contradiction between these calls for liberty and the continued persistence of slavery. a couple of other items. these are later bindings of two 18th century publications. of course, at the end of this decade of increasing division between americans and britons over this issue of taxation and representation in the empire sort of comes to a head in the aftermath of the boston tea party and the coercive acts that are passed by parliament in 1774. and so delegates from all but one of the colonies come together in philadelphia at the first continental congress. this is the fall of 1774. those delegates meet in a small building that still stands today right across the future museum
of the american revolution. carpenter's hall. and this is often known as the first continental congress. so this is a first printing of the journals of the proceedings of congress. in this case the first continental congress held in philadelphia in september 5, 1774 and was published just down the street from where the museum will be located at the london coffee house. this is at the corner of market and front street in oldtown philadelphia. and this wonderful emblem that we have in the center, you can see there's the hands, each one representing one of the colonies with a pillar and liberty cap at the top and the words "magna carta" beneath. still reminding us that these delegates, even on the eve of the revolutionary war, are still appealing to their rights as englishmen and to those founding documents of the english constitution to try to define their place in the empire and
seek redress for these grievances. now, of course, not everyone felt that this was the right way to go. they were still -- this is by no means the consensus of all colonial americans that we should be pushing literally to the brink of war, to the point where the congress is calling for americans to form voluntary military associations and prepare to fight britain in the fall of 1774. so this is sort of a piece of opposition literature published in new york and i think it's kind of funny to look now because it seems very contemporary in a sense. "what think ye of the congress now?" which we might say in 2015 as well. "how far the americans are bound to abide and execute the decisions of the late congress." so this is sort of a loyalist tract calling into question the legitimacy of that group of delegates here in philadelphia
at the first continental congress. and, of course, this is beginnings of what will split into tories and patriots during the revolution and result in tens of thousands of americans who chose to exile themselves as a result of the revolution and become founders. many people in canada, for instance, today can trace an zest tri to loyalist ancestors who left places like new york, boston and philadelphia in order to settle in canada after the war. this is another engraved power horn dating to 1775. it's a wonderful object to transition from the pre-war decade of americans appealing to the britons as shared inheritors of a tradition in british
liberty and transitioning to making that decision to declare independence and go their own separate way. so this is a powder horn that belonged to a man named william waller, a virginian who lived near what would be shepherdstown, virginia. not far from washington, d.c. it has a lot of the slogans that we associate with the revolutionary movement. most recognizable "liberty or death." these words reportedly spoken by virginian patrick henry at the beginning of the war. i'll take this carefully out of the mount. you can see "kill or be killed" which is a fairly sobering almost contemporary sounding slogan. and appeal to heaven which was something that appeared on new england flags at the same and was also a very popular slogan at the beginning of the war. the date 1775 and curiously this crown -- so if you'll remember
on that havana powder horn also a crown in that case with gr 3. sometimes people who see this horn are a little confused and say, well, wait a minute, this guy was a virginian fighting in the continental army, why would he have a crown on his powder horn? but, of course, in 1775, these men are still fighting to restore their rights as englishmen within the empire. so it's perfectly consistent with that to appeal to the king, to see the king as the person who's going to intercede with parliame parliament. parliament is the group that is oppressing and trying to enslave americans. of course, all that changes between summer of 1775 and the summer of 1776 in which americans finally when they hear that the king has refused to read a petition sent by the second continental congress, the olive branch petition that he has declared them to be in
rebellion, essentially taken them out of his protection, they then encourage by immigrant englishman by the name of thomas payne who writes his famous pamphlet "common sents" in july of 1776 declare independence. and this newspaper volume, this is a bound volume of all of the papers from philadelphia publication known as the pennsylvania evening post from 1776. i've turned it to the page on saturday, july 6, 1776. and this is the first newspaper printing in english of the declaration of independence. and so while many viewers will have seen the large broad sides published by john dunlap and other printers, it would have been posted up in public places, this is probably the way many colonial americans first read the words of the declaration of independence published in newspapers.
of course first in philadelphia but then quickly scattering out through the other colonies and then eventually by august appearing in print in london itself. so independence had actually been already declared on july 2 of 1776. we celebrate the fourth. the fourth is the day that the declaration of independence, the final version of the declaration, was adopted by congress and then it sent off and printed. this is tuesday, july 2, 1776. you can see things going nonprovidence and newport and new haven and philadelphia and literally the news, we can imagine, must have arrived very late in the day because they had set the type, they were at the end of the news columns just before the classified ads and
here, this day the continental congress declared the united colonies free and independent states. that is the announcement of the birth of the united states. and then "to be sold, the brig teen two friends." and we move the classifieds. so i love showing people that much as the declaration. so that's the birth of the united states. of course, nothing on the fourth because that's the day that the declaration is finally being put into its final form and voted and adopted by congress. but at the end of the first page all of these lines here are indictments against the king. congress explaining its decision to declare independence by citing all of its grievances against the king and among those he has abdicated government here by his declaring us out of his protection. so that's saying basically, you know, my armies and navys are
going to attack you. and then he says "he is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny already begun." this cap here, this fragment of a cap originally belonged to what americans referred to as those foreign mercenaries. the hessian soldiers from one of several principalities in central europe in the german-speaking states of central europe. so this is a fus leer cap. this is actually an archaeological fragment so it was actually recovered from the delaware river near -- if you've ever flown into philadelphia international airport and as you're landing if you look at the river to your side, there are all the remnants of a bunch of barriers that americans try to keep the british from taking
philadelphia in 1777. and at some point over the winter of 1777/'78, a boat load of hessians got caught up on a river obstruction and got caught up in the river with all of their baggage and this was recovered around the first world war when some corps of engineers were dredging the channel. so this is actually a brass guilt -- the metal piece, this would have had a wool liner and would have been worn on the head of the hessian fus leer. would have served in the campaign driving washington's army through new jersey, around new york and through new jersey, retreat into pennsylvania, could well have been worn in the actions right up to the crossing and the battles of trenton and princeton. this soldier may well have been part of the gar so of new yorisd
over 1777/1778. that same winter, the american army, george washington's army, was encamped about 20 miles west of philadelphia. the british army had taken the rebel capital of philadelphia and was hoping to split off philadelphia and the northern colonies from the southern colonies and end the rebellion. washington's army marches into valley forge about 20 miles west and this is actually a painting. it will be very recognizable to people. it's probably one of the most iconic images of the american revolution. it was painted after the civil war, so it's about a century later as a commemorative work but very evocative of the date, december 19, 1777, as washington's army marches along
the gulf road into its winter quarters at valley forge. and a couple of the objects i have here would have been witnesses to that winter encampment. the first is a pair of silver camp cups here. if you can see them. and these pass down through the washington -- through relatives of general washington who had this "w" engreyed on them later and the camp cup owned and used by general washington during the war. these two are part of a set 1206 camp cups. what's remarkable is the original receipt has survived. so we know these were made by a philadelphia silver smith by the name of edmund milne working at second and market street in old city, philadelphia. washington paid for these cups just two days before he and the continental army marched through philadelphia, right down chestnut street literally past the future front door of the
museum of the american revolution. they passed congress, which was drawn up on the steps of independence hall. john adams wrote to abigail adams describing the scene, he said they looked great, they were very spry as they marched, though not all in step and he thought they needed work to look as professional as he thought they should but he was very buoyed at the sight of seeing this vast army marching through philadelphia. pretty much like the fellows in the painting are doing. of course, about a month later almost to the day the british army marches down that same street and occupies philadelphia. so this was one of those many, many dark days of the american revolution. so washington's army marches into valley forge and this was one of the winterings, as she did ever winter through the eight years of the war, that martha washington joined general
washingt washington. in many ways one of the rarest objects in the collection that i'll share with you now. this is a volume that was owned by martha washington. it is a -- you can see her signature "m. washington." and it's an early edition printed in england. it was known as a help and guide to christian families published in london in 1752. so quite likely a book she may well, you can imagine, have taken along with her to camp to spend the winter at valley forge. the top of the page is missing, almost certainly it was clipped by an autograph collector in the 19th century, presumably her name would have been written out there as well and it was probably clipped by a collector. and if any viewers have that in your collection, we would love to reunite the book and the
autograph. but there is her signature, martha washington. so it's entirely possible to imagine that that's a book that spent the winter at valley forge along with the general and his suffering soldiers. a few other objects, again, an object that quite likely was also used in valley forge, the soldier's canteen. it seems like a fairly mundane object but there's really probably about half a dozen canteens that have survived from the revolution with this surcharge, which tells us that -- the state's surcharge which tells us this was the property of the continental army that was actually marked. there's an order that came out midway through the war because so much of the material they were having trouble keeping track. soldiers would be discharge and take their gear home and, of course, perennially short on
supplies. there was an effort by marking weapons and accoutrements and things like canteens that they could try to get a better handle on keeping on that material. >> one of the great treasures in our collection is a simple modest little flag, blue background, that bears 13 stars and it was general washington's personal standard. so it really signified his presence. when you saw that flag, you knew general washington was in command. and it's incredible that it has survived. so few flags from the revolution have. it kaem came to us from a desce of general washington's sister betty. her son was an officer in what's called the lifeguard. these were the men and officers personally assigned to general washington and had the responsibility of ensuring his
safety. so it's a wonderful object directly from the washington family that, again, reflects his command, his leadership of the continental army during revolution. the museum will be located in the very heart of philadelphia's historic area. the national park service agreed with the importance of this museum and gave up ownership of part of independence park just so this museum could be built within two blocks of independence hall so every visitor who comes to discover the birthplace of america will now have an opportunity to learn the larger context, the story of the american revolution and how that independence and liberty was achieved. at this point, construction is in full swing. our contractor haas finished pouring the foundations for the building and we'll start putting up steel in another month. we are right on schedule to open the museum in early 2017.
>> that was the first of two-part look at the collections of the museum of the american revolution. george washington's camp tent of from the revolutionary war. this sunday night on q&a p brookings institution senior fellow vanda felbab-brown talks about achievements in afghanistan. >> well, it depends on how it ends and here is where i hesitate and where i increasingly interrogate myself and question myself. we don't know how it will end and i think that's a moment of opportunity if we withdraw now that moment may end and things may collapse but it's also possibility that five years now the war we'll be back in a new civil war in afghanistan. isis is slowly emerging in the
country, terrifying prospect that that is. much worse than the taliban. the taliban is deeply entrenched and hardly defeat sod if we end up five years now the road in new civil war in afghanistan and new safe havens for the taliban and isis, i would say it was not worth the price. vanda felbab-brown on c-span's q&a. american history tv continues now with more from our series "american artifacts." next, a look at the civil war's medical history from a collection at maryland's national museum of health and medicine. later, we go inside the assembly room of independence hall to understand its history in the signing of the declaration of independen independence. each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archive, museums and historic
sites around the country. next we visit the national museum of health and medicine just outside washington, d.c. to look at items in their civil war collection. please note, some viewers may find images in this program disturbin disturbing. >> welcome to the national museum of health and medicine. my name is tim clark and i'm the museum's deputy director. we're here to spend a little time on a visit to the museum's civil war medicine exhibit and a special couple of other things to show you. the national museum of health and medicine was founded in 1862 but we were known as army medical museum. the mission at the time was to collect spes michl cimens of mo anatomy and send them to washington for study to improve the care of the soldier. at the time of the civil war, the museum staff were doing the business of lessons learned. they were trying to understand the nature of battlefield
surgery and medicine and trauma and their shows lessons with their colleagues and counterparts on the battlefield. this museum and its collection started during the war and in the early days the museum was housed at the surgeon general's office. the first few museum artifacts were on a shelf behind the surgeon general's desk. then the building we know as the riggs-bank building near the white house. but it wasn't until after the tragic events of the assassination of president abraham lincoln in 1856 that the museum moved into its first long term residence. they moved into ford's theater y where they stayed for about 20 years before moving to what became the national mall and a building built in the 1880s that we familiarly call the old red brick in a building that is now no longer there but was in the
location where the hearse horn gallery is today and the museum moved in 1968 from its now former location on the national mall to walter reed army medical center in washington, d.c. where it was housed for about 30 years before moving to its new home in silver spring where we are today. the museum today is a museum of 25 million objects. most of those are in five major collections, but the genesis of that collection, the core of the 25 million objects, is in civil war medicine. that's the tour we're about to start today. so come along. we are inside our civil war medicine exhibit here at the national museum of health and medicine and we're starting our visit in front of the skull here
of an individual with from a particularly renown african-american regiment stood up in 1863. we don't even know the name of this person but he was a soldier with the 54th massachusetts called up in boston and took various different actions before arriving at the battle of battery wagner in july of 1863 and this soldier would have been with the 54th when they made their initial assault on the evening of july 18, 1863. you can see that this soldier died instantly from a cannon not have a 12 pound howitzer fired by confederate forces marshalled inside battery wagner and was killed on the battlefield. his remains, actually, remained -- were there and
stayed there, weren't buried properly and he was recovered some 10 or 12 years after the war which is indicated by the stained brown color of the specimen itself. what's particularly of import here is here is the skull of an african-american union soldier who died in service to his country but for viewers and visitors the museum, they may recall the movie "glory" with matthew broderick and denzel washington that recounts the story of the 54th massachusetts and this skull from this soldier would have been one of those characters portrayed in that movie and is of particular interest when visitors come here to the museum. the skull is near an exhibit about fragments and bullets and shrapnel where we're able to talk about those objects that caused the injury which was of much concern and interest to the
curators of the army medical museum at the time as much as the skeletal remains and photographs and documentary records. they wanted to collect that thing that caused the injury but they also collected very interesting other artifacts like this breast plate mounted here. the breast plate belonged to a confederate officer who wore this on the battlefield at the battle of gettysburg in july of 1863. he probably hoped that this breast plate might do him some good but, as evidenced by the clear bullet holes right in the center of the breast plate and then down below, this officer was killed. the breast plate failed. but we made an effort to contrast that iron breast plate which failed to save an officer with this small personal notebook mounted here and the story behind the notebook is such that that notebook -- and you can sort of see torn at the bottom -- stopped a bullet.
we actually have several artifacts like this in the museum's collection and regularly get calls from persons interested in this type of interesting story. so we found that of interest and we thought viz torsz would like to see it. along this part of our civil war medicine exhibit includes numerous examples of the modern surgical kits of the time. so you would see amputation saws and scalpels and blades and scissors of all manners and types, but you would also see requisition orders because while the museum was interested in collecting the anatomical specimens and the medical documentary images, they were also interested in collects the business of military medicine at the time. some of those are included in this part of the exhibit. we also include a particularly
unique innovation. it is sometimes not well understood about how prevalent anesthesia and pain medication was during the time of the civil war. sometimes sort of considered a myth that somebody might just bite on a bullet before having a limb amputated due to a traumatic injury. that was never really the case. there was pain medicine, either and anesthesia was available but one of the concerns was that it was hard to deliver this somewhat expensive medication into the system. we have on display something by a surgeon, a confederate surgeon named julian chisholm who developed this tool which helped to deliver more of the anesthesia further into the nostrils of the patient so it limited how much anesthesia was limit and it got it quicker into the nervous system. this is a particularly neat tool and you can see it here on display at the museum. it's also interesting, we're the army medical museum, founded by
the union army but on display along this wall are several artifacts from confederate surgeoned from the war itself but the other object of note here is this small pocket surgical kit. it belonged to a woman named mary walker who was a contract surge within the union army during the civil war. she volunteered and then was discharged and volunteered again and was discharge d but remarkably she persisted and was recognized for her commitment and service and was named the first woman to receive the congressional medal of honor. unfortunately, that award was eventually then stripped of her some years later. there are differing accounts of her service in the union army and i would suspect there were some concerns about her gender and some resentment about the
role that she played but eventually, it took as long until the carter administration, the honor was restored back to mary. it's important to note, though, mary never returned her medal. she resisted the plea to return the medal and retained that to her death. and we remember her commitment and her service by displaying tools she carried when in service to the union army back in 1864 right here on display. another element of our civil war medicine exhibit is a whole wall of the display case that has been featuring artifacts and images and specimens from each year of the conflict 150 years later. so we featured artifacts and specimens from the battle of gettysburg during the year 2013 and the another battle in 2014 and in 2015 our exhibit will feature artifacts and specimens in those last few months of the
civil war and so visitors should look to see that on display when they visit. so as we continue through our civil war medicine exhibit we come across the story of captain henry wertz. wertz is known for his infamous role as the commander of the andersonville prison. a p.o.w. camp run by the confederate army and known for its terrible conditions. interred thousands of union soldiers and upon their release the stories came out about the treatment that they were -- that they underwent while prisoners of war at the andersonville prison. wirz himself was accused of a number of these crimes and claims he could not have committed those crimes because of an injury to his right arm. wirz was tried, convicted, his claims failed to convince a jury and he was executed for his
crimes. after his execution, an examination of his army -- which we have in that jar right there -- showed no loss of use of any heart of his arm, disproving the claim he made during his trial. but also on display are the virs and second cervical vertebrae of wirz's neck, showing the effect of his execution. so we contrast the actual anatomical specimen with a photograph of wirz just prior to the actual hanging. so we offer that here for the public to see. these two artifacts are right near a larger examination of the studies of injuries and wounds during the civil war. the army medical museum sent out missives to medical officers at all the major battlefields in all the major units in all theaters of the war with the instruction to send specimens from their battlefield hospital to washington.
they are truinstructed to keep careful detailed notes and keep with the specimen the object that caused the injury. so as you look at some of the objects and specimens on display, you'll see a mini ball or fragment tacked into the prepared specimen that's on display. sometimes the specimens would come to washington packed in whiskey casks, huge barrels full of alcohol with the specimens. this is prior to having been defleshed and cleaned and prepared, packed into the barrels for their arrival at the army medical museum's offices wherever those might have been in washington where the staff would have taken them out of the barrels, cleaned them, prepared them, mounted them and this is a good example. not only did they show the structure of the bone, you can see the missing bone, but they included the shell fragment itself that caused the injury. another good example, though,
too, of the work the museum did to follow individual cases is that of major general barnum. and this is his hip. er be numb was injured in a gunshot wound that passed through bone and the surgeon healed up the skin injuries but put through a cord. passed it from barnum's front of his torso through the hip and out the back. and you can see that in a photograph that we have on display. and over the rest of his life, barnum ever once in a while reduced the size of that cord. the injury drained out the cord and after a number of years it went from a thick cord down to just a small thread and you can see that as i said in this great photograph. all of the work of the army medical museum was eventually coalesced into the signature publication of the late 19th century, the work of the army medical museum became known as the medical and surgical history
of the war of the rebellion. this is the iconic effort to understand the nature of battlefield medicine at the time of the war, the lessons that were learned. it tabulate it had types and natures of injuries, the efforts made to repair trauma and disease and documented the work of the -- on the battlefield and tracked cases years after the war. we offer part of the medical and surgical history of the war of the rebellion on display for the public to see. and the effort that was made to understand military medicine at the time of the civil war, that effort was never really capably duplicated in the cars that followed, the spanish american war or the wars of the 20th century. it's an honor for us to present and showcase the actual publication itself matched with the wood etchings, the carvings, the photograph, the illustrations that comprise it. all that remain in the museum's
care today. we're often asked what the long term benefit -- what did we learn? what did we understand about military medicine, about medicine in general because of the lessons learned during the civil war? medicine after the civil war had a grander understanding about how to deal with huge volumes of patients. there was a better understanding of surgical treatment and the rapid need for amputation. a better understanding of infection. at the end of the civil war, it was still prior to a better general understanding of sanitary practice or condition that would eliminate most infections but military medical officers at the time came out of the war prepared and primed for those lessons that came just some years later at the end of the 19th century. civil war medicine also taught the military, the army, the
navy, about medical evacuation. this was a time where it became pretty clear to those involved that removing a patient from the battlefield, turning them a properly outfitted treatment facility increased their chances for recovery and for returning back to some quality of life. that lesson alone had great impact and effect as the country found itself involved in the conflict of the spanish american war and were lessons that were applied in world war i just 550 years later. we come to the story of dan sickles here in part of our civil war medicine exhibit. dan sickles will be a familiar name to many viewers and is this specimen on display is one of the most frequently requested objects by our visitors here at the museum. dan sickles was infamous before the war.
his activities during the war elevated his stature in a sense and he went on to live a long life amazingly despite the events at the battle of gettysburg which i can tell you a little bit more about. before the civil war, dan sickles as a congressman was involved in a duel, of sorts, with the son of francis scott key. francis scott key's son, . . issue with the affair and called key out on lafayette square and challenged key to a dual. sickles killed key and was put on trial. sickles, though, made an interesting claim. the first of its kind in the country. he claimed he'd become so enraged by learning of this
affair that he had become temporarily insane. the jury was convinced by sic e sickles' argument and he's now known the first person found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. this is some years before the civil war but sickles was already quite a name in washington circles. sickles after the start of the war talked his way into a mission and eventually was elevated to commander of the third corps and found himself assigned toplay a role at the battle of gettysburg. it's story that's well recounted by folks who know the gettysburg story well. sickles was not inclined to follow orders and led his men ahead of the union line and suffered for it. his men were almost unilaterally
slaughtered in the peach orchard that day and sickles himself was struck by a cannon ball similar to the one we have on display here, struck in his lower right leg requiring its amputation on the battlefield and we have here on display that lower right leg. it took an interesting journey to get here to washington. sickles was aware, as was his medical officer thomas simms of the request by the army medical museum to collect a sped minute of morbid anatomy and required simms, his surgeon, to send it forward. the leg was sent in a small box, a coffin of sorts with a note, "complime "compliments, major general d.e s." where it was prepared by the museum staff and mounted in the fashion that you see here and -- but the story goes on. sickles would even visit the museum on the anniversary of his
leg's amputation and he'd bring his cohorts and cronies to see the leg on display and there are records of his visits and there's even a record of a visit where sickles asked to see what was left of his foot. he noted just the leg itself had been displayed and the curator at the time, george otis, responded to general sickles "general, we didn't preserve that part of the specimen because just this part showed the unique trauma and pathology we wanted to showcase." and according to the legend, sickles didn't take that too well. so sickles remains here as a central part of the museum's exhibit on civil war medicine. as i said, is one of the most frequently asked-after octobers on display by visitors to the museum in silver spring.
we also have on display this bone specimen. it belonged to a private cunningham but it's notable because this bone was something that was recounted upon by walt whitman. whitman was a nurse and served in washington area hospitals and hospitals in virginia during and after the civil war. at some point the museum staff was able to associate walt whitman's writings in poems and stories from that time with specimens that were held in the collection here at the museum. and so here's a case where we're able to associate a bit of a story from walt whitman with the bone of a person he cared for in a hospital during the civil war itself. our final stop today is an exhibit on the assassination of